See that little furry creature crawling along the sunflower? Did you know he is a famous weather predictor? Or is he?
Known as the wooly bear caterpillar or the wooly worm, in the South, he has 13 distinct segments of his body. Normally they are either reddish-brown or black. The number of the amber colored segments is supposed to forecast the coming winter's weather.
The wooly bear was made famous by an entomologist up in New England who enjoyed taking his family on fall excursions into the country to enjoy the fall foliage and along the way studied these larvae of the Isabella Tiger Moth with tongue-in-cheek predictions based on the number of orange segments.
The worms we see are larvae who were hatched in spring and as fall comes along they begin to search for winter lodging under bark or in cavities in rocks or logs. That's why we see more of them.
The end result of the woolly worm transforms is an Isabella Tiger Moth.
According to legend, the wider that middle brown section is on the wooly worm, the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter.
All this information leaves me a bit perplexed about this little fellow I found out back earlier this week.
"The only thing is … it's telling you about the previous year.” So my dear little friend may be a newborn. I wish him well in finding a good warm dark hideaway to fulfill his chrysalis.